Zip 'em or zap 'em, you gotta have them green men

This is perhaps the most ridiculous caption we have come up with. This review is not about the caption and the quality of prose that we are using. There are times when you need to compress all the files and text that you have so that your final executables or deliverables are smaller. What do you do when it comes to images and mobile platforms?
If you are working with images and creating for mobile devices, you are aware of the number one ask, demand for space in memory, if you hit that threshold, the OS can kill your app. Zip the graphics, you say, well yes you can zip the graphics so that the resulting distributable is small, but when the image is expanded in memory, it takes up more space again.

Now, without going into the details of the colour formats, file formats and techniques you know that a pixel is made up of four bytes, Red, Green, Blue and the Alpha Channel. so, the size of an image that is 1 pixel wide by 1 pixel tall is 4 bytes. The size of the graphic can be reduced by reducing the number of bytes used to represent the colours.

If you have multiple graphics, they take up more space than one large image in memory. So here's what Texture Packer does. It allows the user to add graphics and creates a large texture (bitmap image) from these images. It is compressed and dithered, to reduce the number of colours and not find banding or visual artifacts. The resulting image can be exported in a variety of formats for use in various frameworks for different Mobile OS.

If the project has a series of images that are larger with transparent spaces, those spaces are a waste of space (no pun intended) Texture Packer reduces by cropping and removing the space and if the resulting images are the same, it keeps a copy by aliasing the other to itself. So not only do you get a smaller image but also removal of redundant pixels.

Texture Packer is the hardwork and efforts of Andreas Loew, and currently is at version and has support for a variety of Formats of which the most widely used ones are Corona SDK, Cocos-2D, Sparrow and LibGDX.

The resulting output can be in the png format (most commonly used) or the PVR format (native iOS format) which is larger than the PNG format on disk as it is not a compressed format like PNG, but that is the actual size on the device when it will be run. The images are scaled on the fly depending on the mode they are required for, so it will do both up-scaling and down-scaling.

There is not much that we can write in terms of a review, it is a software than has to be experienced, it is available for $ 17.95 from the website at Code 'n' web ( )

If you have never used this before, you will not know the difference till you actually use it and see how many more graphics you can manage to get into your app without it crashing or exceeding the capacity.

When dropped, the graphics are laid out automatically by Texture Packer, and if you click on the image, the corresponding filename in the sidebar is highlighted. It was rather unfortunate that simple pressing the delete button did not work till the delete option on the menubar was successful.

For a game developer, this is a must have tool, specially since it manages the three most commonly used frameworks for iOS, Corona SDK, Sparrow and Cocos-2D

For those curious on the technical details of the software, there is a lovely explanation at ( )

We reccommend that everyone should have this in their toolkit. If you do not have it, do not dispair, either you can go to the link above and purchase a copy or you can

1. Follow @awhatsin4me
2. Retweet "Read, follow @whatsin4me, @ and RT this msg. You could win a copy of #TexturePacker"
head over to our Facebook page and like our page at and post a comment under the review that you want to win a copy of this software.

Now to think about the title of this post, well you can zip the graphics or zap the graphics (drop them) but you can always rely on texture packer to get the job done.